Nomenclature is the identity of organisms. Without a proper nomenclature system, it is difficult to recognize where the organisms belong in the ecosystem. Nomenclature makes it possible to remember a particular organism by one or two words. Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish Botanist gave the Binomial Nomenclature system to name plants and animals. Binomial Nomenclature is a Latin word meaning two naming system.
Thus, as per Binomial Nomenclature, plants and animals were named, depending upon two factors.
Before the Binomial Nomenclature system, plants and animals had very long Latin names. It made it difficult to remember them. So, Linnaeus’s System carefully eased the complication and made the names shorter. This system is universally accepted, creates no confusion as each organism gets a unique name, and easier to remember and understand.
While writing the scientific name there are certain rules to be followed-
While writing a scientific name, the genus of the organism comes first followed by the species.
For example - Genus Homo
While typing a scientific name, it is always typed in Italics and if it is handwritten, it is always underlined.
The Genus name is Capitalized followed by the species name which is in lower case.
Although this protocol was established in 1700, it is periodically updated by Taxonomists.
A Trinomial nomenclature is also in use these days, to give very specific names to an organism and according to this system, the Genus and species is followed by the subspecies.
Example- i) Indian Crow- Common Name
Corvus Splendens Splendens- Scientific Name
ii) Humans- Indian Name
Homo sapiens sapiens- Scientific Name
Plant names generally end with a plural adjective at the end which is in Latin “aceae”. The adjective used for nomenclature describes at least, the genus or the characteristics of the family to which the particular plant belongs.
Example- Spinach- Spinacia oleracea
Genus- Latin noun is used to name a genus of the plants. It indicates the medicinal property or the characteristic of the plant. Genus is also written, taking into consideration the name of the person who discovered it and name of God.
Example- Artemisia absinthium is named after the Greek Goddess- Artemis which is the name for wormwood.
Species- A characteristic specific to the particular species decides the species name of the plant. It also comes from the native place of plant’s origin, or after a person discovering it. Species name also comes from another genus that has similar characteristics in that particular plant species’.
Common Name of Plants
Scientific Name of Plants
Peacock Flower (Gulmohar)
Delonix regia rafin
Purple orchid tree (Kachnar)
Ficus religiosa Linn.
Tectona grandis Linn.
The naming system for animals is similar to the naming system of plants. While writing a scientific name, the genus comes first followed by the species. Except, Scientific name of plants cannot have similar two parts of the binomial name. While in Animals, this is allowed. Example- Scientific name of American Bison is- Bison bison.
Common Name of Animals
Scientific Name of Animals
Canis lupus familiaris
Equus ferus caballus
Sus scrofa domesticus
Capra aegagrus hircus
Equus africanus asinus
Gallus gallus domesticus
House wall Lizard
1. How to Write a Scientific Name?
Genus is written first followed by the scientific name while writing a scientific name. The first letter of the genus is capitalized and the first letter of species or subspecies is written in small letters. Scientific names are always written in Italics dialect and underlined when written by hand.
2. What is the Importance of Binomial Nomenclature?
Binomial Nomenclature replaces the big inconvenient names of organisms with easy to remember, two-word names. The binomial name in itself is sufficient to identify the genus and species and hence the common characteristic of the organism by its name.
3. What are the Drawbacks of Binomial Nomenclature?
Binomial Names are hard to learn for layman. They are tedious and spelled mostly in Latin form. Also, they are very long and usually unfamiliar.
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